Fascinating to feminists, abhorrent to her opponents and player of the populist wave, Wahome seems to have mastered the game of controversy and this props her as a better candidate during the electioneering period. This is what got her the top seat at the Tangatanga’s Inua Mama Initiative.
People have questioned the sudden change of tune and the tactics she is using to question Uhuru, including the speech she gave during the burial of former Nairobi Mayor, Charles Rubia.
The economy remains the main plank of Deputy President William Samoei Ruto’s pivot to Mount Kenya in a scorched earth strategy to win the Presidency in 2022.
“The biggest existential (sic) threat to Kenya’s declining economy and democracy … is Uhuru Kenyatta,” Kandara MP Alice Wahome.
Undoubtedly, this is so far the boldest, most radicalized, systematic and scathing attack by the Ruto camp on President Uhuru Kenyatta. But the broadside also raises fundamental questions on the moral disposition, intellectual and professional capacity of segments of the current crop of Mount Kenya leaders to conceive and implement a redemptive vision of development.
Hon. Alice Wahome who appeared nervous and seemed to be reading word by word from a script during the media presser while on holiday in Malindi PHOTO/COURTESY
The trouble with Kenya’s development is that it is everywhere under the sway and attack from idiots and tribalists who have either silenced the citizens or reduced them to cheering crowds.
The government-as-economic-threat idiom is about power in 2022, not the genuine emancipation of the citizens.
Three events set the larger context for this rhetorical blame-game on development.
First, is a social media war on the eve of the burial of the pro-democracy icon Charles Rubia in Murang’a County on December 30, 2019. The cyberwar started with a post carrying an unsightly image of the “status of toilets at Karigu-ini Primary School in Kandara Constituency, represented by Alice Wahome.” Wahome responded with a controversial ‘Wanjinga’ tweet which landed her in trouble and thrust to the fore the failure of Africa’s emergent elite to steer community development.
Second, are the domino and double-barreled impacts of the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report on the 2022 succession politics. But the lightning rod came from a media interview by the former Jubilee Party vice-chairman David Murathe, who stated that Uhuru will remain in power after 2022 polls.
The gist of Murathe’s personal opinion was two-fold; once the new political dispensation envisaged in the BBI report comes into force, nothing will stop the President, as the leader of Jubilee, to vie for any post and head the government as the Executive Prime Minister as long as he wins the majority.
“The only thing the President can’t do is to run for Presidency,” he said.
Party leadership and a broad-based national coalition will potentially ensure that Kenyatta does not disappear into political oblivion but remain a political kingpin in the Mount Kenya region and at the national level after the 2022 polls. With this, Murathe sounded the death knell for the governing Kalenjin-Kikuyu détente, and spelt doom for Ruto’s ambition as heir to Kenyatta in the Mount Kenya politics.
Expectedly, Wahome, as the vocal voice of Ruto’s Mount Kenya brigade, came from Rubia’s burial, guns blazing.
Kenyatta should retire and go home upon the expiry of his term, she said, alleging that the President and Odinga were planning to use BBI to change the Constitution and cling onto power after 2022.
This debacle reveals that the road to 2022 will be marked by wars of charlatans, defined in politics as a public figure who acts in a disreputable, unethical, rogue-like or unscrupulous way to influence the direction of politics.
So far, Wahome has taken charlatan politics within the Jubilee Party to a whole new level.
Miguna Miguna, once a loyal charlatan for Odinga and now a self-proclaimed general of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and his fiercest critic, seems to be finding a new home in the radicalised wing of the Ruto camp.
Besides welcoming Wahome to “the Revolutionary camp”, the language she used has the uncanny finger marks of Miguna’s post-2017 revolutionary rhetoric, raising questions as to whether the Kenyan-Canadian lawyer is the new spinner-at-large for the Ruto camp.
Beyond charlatanism, the gospel of dependency on the government and handouts by political Santa Clauses cannot develop communities. The future of development rests with an empowered citizen.
Miguna Miguna who was first deported in February 2018, days after his arrest over his role in the mock swearing-in of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga on January 30, 2018, will coincidentally jet in tomorrow, 7th January.
The self-declared National Resistance Movement (NRM) leader on Sunday posted photos of his trip at a Canadian airport. Also the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, under Dr. Fred Matiang’i, has affirmed lawyer Miguna Miguna’s entry into the country.
Through an official press statement, the department of immigration, under Matiang’i’s ministry, has said that it will comply with court orders issued on December 14, 2018, which prompted the government to ensure Miguna’s return into the country.
The bitter taste of hell probably? Kenyans must think critically and with sanity of what a revolution means to their dear lives. Are Kenyans yearning for violence? Is that the direction they would wish to take? Do we want to throw the 56 years of independence we have enjoyed as a country? Do we want to throw the development and growth we have experienced. The honour and dignity we have received as a major African country?
The taste of freedom is sweet and unending, the taste of freedom recognizes the rights and privileges of the people. The taste of freedom has enabled us to gain a new standing and status as a country through the promulgation of the new constitution. Power and resources have been brought closer to us and though we do have challenges the country has gained accolades as a major business hub, a strategic tourist destination and heading towards becoming a middle-income economy.
Do we want to throw it all away for war and suffering? Do we want the country to sink into a war-tone nation? Do we want a new Somalia from Kenya? A state of anarchy and lawlessness? A revolution means an unstable country. A revolution means we forget about our schools and hospitals whether leaning on the private or public side, a revolution translates to chaos and confusion with no authority in control. That is what some lost Kenyans are calling for because they do not understand the gravity of the cost of a revolution.
Is violence the answer?
The recent wave of countries in the Middle East and North Africa which chose to go down this path have now turned into inhabitable war-tone areas with the inhabitants fleeing where the opportunity besets itself. Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain have become known for the suffering of women, children and men who have done all they can to try and protect their loved ones. Buildings are either in shambles full of bullets on the walls or purely rabble, roads have become impassible with most destroyed from bombing. Electricity is a rare commodity as the infrastructure is destroyed. Clean water and food is nowhere to be found as most of these countries are dependent on relief food. Despite them being oil-rich countries they have firmly lost their economic status and have not been able to regain control of the economy. Rebels, militias and a struggling government is fighting for power and resources as the people continue to endlessly suffer.
Considering our current status as a country in terms of development, a revolution would be sure death sentence for the country called Kenya. The Post Election Violence was enough to show us the essence of peace and stability, something many Kenyans take for granted with some singing and embarking on empty talk of a revolution yet they do not realize that they are calling for a destruction of their lives, families, children, property, infrastructure, employment among other things. Additionally, a revolution would result in a scramble by developed countries for a share of the countries resources as it is happening in Libya and Egypt. Remember a sustained war is fertile ground for theft and manipulation for others to gain what is not theirs.
As we gather around for Christmas, we must not take for granted the peace , stability and security we are enjoying as country with the government guaranteeing safety and security as people visit different regions of the country. We already have threats from the Al-Shabaab and the government does make arrangements to ensure Kenyans are safe especially in the Coastal towns and many entertainment spots. Do we really want to be in state where gangs, militia, rebels and the Al- Shabaab call the shots? A state where we cannot enjoy any morning shows on our way to work, no running media, no traders, no hawkers, no noisy matatus or even supermarkets. The taste and value of freedom cannot be thrown down the drain because of a few senseless mindsets who want to destroy the country. Let us be sober and stay sober as a country!
Let us shun calls for a revolution.
That DP Ruto is a political child of former dictator Daniel arap Moi who came into prominence in 1992 as Treasurer of Youth for KANU 92 (YK92) is no secret. KANU 92 was a marauding and gangster-like lobby group that was set up by KANU to drum support for the re-election of Moi at a time when he was very unpopular.
After Moi was installed as President following the 1997 elections, Youth for KANU 92 became irrelevant and Ruto became politically unemployed. It is at this point that the son of Eldoret plunged into electoral politics eventually emerging as the winner of the Eldoret North Parliamentary seat. Ruto had no problem capturing his seat because he had the support of President Moi whom, as President of the Republic, called the shots in the wider Rift Valley Province dominated by members of Moi’s Kalenjin ethnic group.
The real political profile of the real Ruto emerges after his election to Parliament on a KANU ticket both in December 1997 and December 2002.
After Raila opted for a political pact with Moi when he (Raila) failed to become President in the 1997 election, and after Raila fused his National Development Party (NDP) with KANU to form the New KANU, Ruto supported the move because this was not just politically expedient but because Ruto had to support anything Moi said since Moi was the kingmaker in Rift Valley. As soon as it became clear that Moi had other ideas that were represented by “Project Uhuru,” Ruto became one of the most ardent opponents of Raila Odinga in his quest for the Presidency because Ruto was dancing to the tunes of Moi and other senior Kalenjin politicians such as Nicholas Biwott.
Ruto was among KANU sycophants who once created great anxiety to the Kenyan nation by making a public declaration that it was fine for Moi to rule Kenya for the next one hundred years.
At a fundraiser for Kaiti Educational Fund in June 2000, Ruto was quoted in The Daily Nation saying that “As far as President Moi’s retirement is concerned, it is up to those who voted for him to decide. Right now, we are still okay with him going on even for another 100 years.”(288)
Ethnicity and loyalty to key political personalities are among the factors that most influence voting patterns. If, for instance, Kenyatta and Odinga were to campaign together for constitutional amendments, it is likely that they could generate substantial support for the changes they desire.
In the current political environment, only an opposition movement led by Ruto could hope to match their influence. It would be somewhat reminiscent of the 2010 constitutional referendum, which pitted Ruto on the “no” side against Kibaki (then president) and Odinga on the “yes” side.
One of the most impotent – and ironically important – positions in the structure of Kenya’s 2010 Constitution is the Office of Deputy President.
The number two office in terms of State hierarchy sounds powerful but is in actual fact just imposing.
The President can render the Deputy President insignificant – utterly ceremonial – at his own pleasure.
Under previous constitutions, the Vice President – as the principal deputy to the President was then called – served at the mercy of the President. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the Burning Spear himself, fired a couple of deputies in his day. But it was President Daniel arap Moi who perfected the art of swinging the axe to guillotine his vice presidents. Mr. Moi was so ruthless that without the courtesy of forewarning, he once fired a deputy through the one o’clock news on Voice of Kenya radio. Mr. Moi was such a practiced serial sacker that he changed his deputies like dirty shirts.
Kenyans were so fed up with Mr. Moi’s imperial powers that they decided to protect the Office of the Vice President from presidential whimsical fancies.
That’s why the 2010 Constitution doesn’t give the President any leeway to fire the Deputy President. In Article 150 of the Constitution, the DP’s job security and tenure are fully insulated from the President. Although the DP is picked as a running mate by the President – and they run as a ticket – that’s the extent of the latter’s powers with respect to the security of tenure of the former. The DP can be removed for physical or incapacity and by impeachment but not by the President.
Why am I spelling out? Unless you live in a cave, by now you know Mr. Kenyatta has had it with Mr. Ruto. If it was a marriage, Mr. Kenyatta would’ve divorced his deputy with a snap of the fingers. Mr. Kenyatta has all but told his deputy to go jump into a lake.
That’s because Mr. Ruto has defiantly refused to shelf his burning ambition to replace his boss. If it were up to Mr. Ruto, he would leave Mr. Kenyatta no room to build his own legacy. Mr. Kenyatta has openly told his deputy and his sycophants off but to no avail. Instead, they’ve told Mr. Kenyatta to resign if he won’t guarantee Mr. Ruto an endorsement.
Finally, the chicken have come home to roost. Mr. Kenyatta can’t contain his anger any longer. Uhuru told Mr. Ruto to his face at the annual commemoration of Mzee Kenyatta’s death that the narrative pitting “dynasties” against “hustlers” won’t make him President!
Soon thereafter, Mr. Kenyatta gave Interior CS Fred Matiang’i even more powers. Mr. Matiang’i now oversees not only the Big Four agenda but effectively coordinates the daily running of Government. Mr. Matiang’i is a de facto Prime Minister in all but name.
What Mr. Kenyatta has done is very clever. He’s neutered his DP since he can’t sack him. Mr. Kenyatta knows the Office of DP is an empty vessel.
The Constitution doesn’t give the DP enumerated powers, except that he is the President’s “principal assistant”. That’s an innocuous title devoid of any powers except those delegated to by the President. Only upon a vacancy, temporary absence, or incapacity in the Office of the President does the DP become important. In those cases, the DP can either act as President or assume the Office of President. Otherwise, the President can turn the DP into a flower girl, or expensive china that gathers dust in the proverbial cabinet.
What Mr. Kenyatta has done is to respect the black letter law regarding the DP but cannibalised its spirit by making Mr. Matiang’i in effect his “principal assistant”. This single stone kills several birds. It cuts Mr. Ruto to size and denies him the ability to market his candidacy.
His duties have been assumed by Mr. Matiang’i. Secondly, it allows Mr. Kenyatta to retake control of Government and his legacy.
They say the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Mr. Ruto has fallen hard from his days as “Co-President”. The chickens have come home to roost!
Speaking on Wednesday, 4th December 2019 in Kiambu County, a visibly angry President Kenyatta called out the leaders, most of whom are allied to Deputy President William Ruto, saying they lack a sense of direction.
“There comes a point where we say enough is enough and we are tired! Before we released the report, they were all over for a month lecturing us about things. Now the report is out and they have taken another direction. These are people who do not know where they are headed,” said Kenyatta.
In the off-the-cuff speech made in his native Kikuyu language, the President sounded a warning to the political leaders seen to be undermining his quest to have the BBI report successfully implemented.
Those who have known the President over the years will tell you this is the real Uhuru Kenyatta. A firm, steadfast, yet reflective personality. Under that easygoing personality lies a man of steel, the Burning Spear
Almost everywhere in Africa, there exist urban legends about femme-fatales; devastatingly beautiful women who ultimately bring disaster to men who get involved with them romantically.
In Nigeria, for instance, Author Elechi Amadi wrote about it in his novel The Concubine. In the book, Ihuoma is described as a stunning beauty worth dying for (pardon the pun). Men pant for her and fell over themselves, desperately trying to marry her. Unfortunately, all who got involved with her died under unclear circumstances.
Close home, among the Agikuyu community, for instance, some women from ethaga clan, are believed to be femme-fatales. Locals refer to them as gitune — Kikuyu word for a red spot or atumia a chiero ndune, which loosely translates to women with red thigh.
Folklore has it that these alleged ‘sexual vampires’, despite being very beautiful and charming, are dogged with a ‘curse’ of sorts. They have a jinxed background, and it’s believed any man who marries or sires children with them dies mysteriously or tragically.
So dreaded are these women that recently, a village tycoon in Kerugoya left locals astonished when he reportedly offered a woman with the ‘red thigh’ he had impregnated a piece of land worth half a million shillings and Sh20,000 cash as inducement to abort, after a little bird whispered to him that she hails from the dreaded ethaga clan so as to prevent his imminent death!
In Laikipia County, a tale is told of a certain Nyokabi. Her first husband reportedly died after he was gored by a raging bull. She got married to another who was later abducted, only for his corpse to be dumped by the road side in a rural outpost.
Interestingly, she never gave up; she still got married. Unfortunately, all her subsequent three husbands died under unclear circumstances.
In Kiriaini, a small market tucked somewhere in Othaya constituency, Murang’a County, a woman surnamed Muthoni is a marked ‘sexual vampire’. It’s alleged she has the infamous ‘red thigh’ and rumoured to have ‘killed’ many men. Locals discuss her in hushed tones.
That she is ‘hot’ further complicates the matter. “Those women are lethal. You touch her, and you are a goner!” avers Githinji, a friend to one of these writers. He goes on to give Muthoni’s account and how her four husbands died mysteriously.
Betty, a business lady in Kiambu Town, says she knows one such a woman
— a retired barmaid. “Men were warned against her. She was very beautiful and men used to fight over her during her heyday. Unfortunately, all those who get romantically involved with her die.
She is now old and men are no longer interested,” says Betty. “I personally know two men, involved with her, who died in tragic road accidents,” she adds.
Erastus Njuguna, a welder in Bahati, Nakuru County, says he knows of one such woman. “She had been married twice with both of her husbands dying mysteriously. Each did not last a year in the union before meeting his unfortunate end,” he says. The woman, he adds, was warned against getting married again by her parents as she was a ‘husband killer’.
When word leaked out that she was a gitune, men now shun her. “To save face and escape shame, she relocated from the village with her whereabouts now unknown,” says Njuguna.
However, it is understood that for these jinxed to survive in a marriage set up, they MUST NEVER be married as the first wife. They can only be married as a second or a third wife. Others will prefer not be married but they will be careful not to have children with men who are not married.
This unfortunately is the fate of one Hon Cate Waruguru who is married as a second wife to a prominent Kalenjin man from Kericho.
It was after she lost her third fiancé in a mysterious way she sought help from her local pastor who in turn referred her to her renown traditionalist. After several sessions with the elderly woman, it was revealed that Cate Waruguru is from the jinxed ethaga clan. She almost went into a depression but with help of family and friends she accepted her situation and vowed never to marry from her clan.
The Laikipia queen shot to limelight after she had apparently been sent out of a Kericho hotel for failing to produce a marriage certificate. Later, Waruguru would come out to defend herself claiming her traditional wedding to William Kiget was witnessed by elders and could not understand the sort of document the hotel wanted.
Despite all the drama, one thing we cannot deny is the fact that the Laikipia MP is one gifted with beautiful looks and she knows how to perfectly flaunt her curvaceous body.
Recently she was on spot after she in an unprecedented move attacked Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru, using derogatory remarks and expressing concerns over the governor’s failure to conceive after her recent wedding.
Speaking on in public, Waruguru slammed the governor, telling her to focus on making babies.
“Iko kamama kengine hapa ameolewa juzi. Hata tumbo ya kwanza haijatupatia mtoto lakini anafikiria ile kitu kubwa atazaa ati ni kutuzalia BBI (There is a lady around this place who got married the other day. We are yet to see a child after her marriage yet she thinks the greatest thing she can give birth to is BBI.)” Waruguru said.
For the majority of Kenyans, Mwangi Kiunjuri is the baby-faced, dimpled Agriculture cabinet secretary who speaks with a heavy Kikuyu accent.
He is an ambitious man too, who would begrudge him given his tumultuous journey to the top echelons of power?
Perhaps his story being akin to that of William Ruto, the hustling chicken seller who became a DP President is perhaps the foundation of their newfound camaraderie. He Kiunjuri was a tout.
Born in Nyeri 50 years ago, the young Kiunjuri had an average childhood, attending local primary and secondary schools before proceeding to Moi University where he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in education.
It was at the university that his interest in politics started after he joined the now-defunct Ford Party, which was led by veteran Opposition politicians Kenneth Matiba and the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. He was as active politicians until 2013 when he fell into political Siberia after losing the Laikipia gubernatorial.
Notwithstanding the loss, Kiunjuri got a political lifeline in 2015 when President Kenyatta appointed him to succeed the more polished and articulate Anne Waiguru in the Devolution and Youth docket.
Mwangi Kiunjuri has been implicated in serious scandals at his current docket, Ministry of Agriculture which to some extent has led to the sour relationship with President Kenyatta whose main agenda currently is fighting corruption. He was on spot after he withdrew 1.8b shillings meant for Kenyan farmers to pay maize cartels. Reports indicated that the conceited efforts by the CS to import maize were a cover-up to try account for the millions he has already from the central bank to pay private companies for the importation of maize.
Agriculture PS in a letter says the Strategic Food Reserve was kept in the dark by Kiunjuri regarding the secret withdrawals only for them to find out; the money which was meant for farmers had already been paid to private businessmen.
It was during his vetting to become a CS that it became apparent just how much his financial fortunes had changed. According to a wealth declaration report by Parliament’s Committee on appointments, Kiunjuri declared his wealth to be valued at Sh798million as at December 2015; mainly from landholdings and buildings in Nanyuki, Sagana and Nairobi.
But Uhuru seemed to have fallen out with his favourite Mt Kenya CS and went on a series of public rants against CS who many agreed was exhibiting signs of defiance and incompetence. Soon he toed the line and his work and political ideologies gelled with that of Uhuru.
The CS warned Mt Kenya leaders against undermining party boss President Uhuru and emphasized the need for leaders in the region to speak in one voice and rally behind the head of state.
However, he has recently changed tune and blatantly defied Uhuru’s directive order to the Cabinet, raising speculations that his job may be on the line. Kiunjuri was captured in parliament grounds alongside Jubilee nominated senator who had called for a presser where they poked holes into BBI sounding a warning over the release of its highly anticipated report.
After the BBI reported was launched and released to the public, Kiunjuri led 59 MPs from Mt Kenya to a retreat sponsored by DP Ruto in Embu where they unanimously agreed to shoot down any calls for a referendum.
As the Mt Kenya succession battle hots up especially after Uhuru reiterated for the umpteenth time that he will retire from active politics in 2022, Ruto is said to be backing Kiunjuri to battle for the political edifice that is ‘Mt. Kenya Kingpin.’
Kiunjuri is the only CS from Mt Kenya who is currently all out in favour of Ruto. His decision also stems from claims that he was sidelined by his colleagues in the La Mada hotel meetings where allegedly assassination of the DP was discussed. The matter is in court.
Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi’s star continues shining as his no-nonsense approach to handling issues ripple around the country.
Born Fred Okengo Matiangi in Borabu, the father of two has a chequered career spanning university lecturing, global organisations’ consultations and working with Kenya’s parliament among others. Dr Matiang’i is a Seventh Day Adventist who is said to be devoted to excellence.
Matiang’i made a statement on Friday when he landed in for a fundraiser in Kirinyaga accompanied by six governors and more than 50 MPs. In his speech, the Super CS did not shy away from drumming up support for the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga whom he described as a statesman.
While taking a dig at Deputy President William Ruto and his Tanga Tanga group, Matiang’i said he and his Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho only take instructions from the President who appointed them.
A country is led like a family. Is there a family that is led by two men? No. A family is only led by one man,” he declared.
He also confidently said that Uhuru was aware of their presence in the region and had even sent him with his contribution.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta is aware we are here and sent us with his contribution, and the Honorable former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has also sent greetings and his contributions through ODM deputy party leader Hassan Joho,” he said.
Popular political pundit Mutahi Ngunyi believes president Uhuru Kenyatta might shock the nation by endorsing Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i as his successor.
In the past 12 months, Matiang’i has increased his public appearances, attending fundraising events in several parts of the country.
In January this year, President Uhuru made Matiang’i his chief minister when he appointed him the Chairperson of the National Development Implementation and Communication Committee, a role that put him at the heart of all government projects. Analysts claimed the position reduced the powers of the DP who has developed a habit of launching all government projects, most of which are nonexistent.
On his part, Raila has described Matiang’i as his son.
“He is my son. Kisii is my home. Go slow, I know how to plan on this.” Raila said during the burial of former Assistant Minister Hezron Manduku in August this year.
At the Kirinyaga event; both Kisii Governors James Ongwae (Kisii) and John Nyangarama (Nyamira) were present. This is another statement that the region is united behind the CS.